Today, I’m taking a leaf out of Julia Lawrinson’s blog, which took its own leaf from Anita Heiss (for such is the way of the madly intertextual interwebs), to talk about things I’ve been grateful for lately.
It has been a tricky couple of years for me on some fronts and there has been less writing and relaxation and metaphorical lying on my back looking at the clouds than I would have hoped. Very often, I have felt as if I am simply scrabbling to keep my ground, rather than actually making any progress. But good things have happened. Many good things. And I am very fortunate. Mostly fortunate, in fact, and it is too easy to lose sight of that.
So, here’s what I’ve been grateful for lately. Here are the things that have made me smile:
- the rapidly firming plans of my scattered family to trek via train, plane and automobile across the Nullarbor to stay with us at Christmas.
- the slowly-but-surely progressing extensions to the house which mean we will be able to accommodate them all, kind of sort of.
- the glorious, soaking rain, even though it complicates things somewhat when one has half a roof and no gutters.
- soup weather! Big pots of steaming stuff!
- the utter, intractable, unstoppable mess of the building process, which has enabled me to relax and let go of my need for order, something which is very timely just now.
- a new picture-book contract, about which more later.
- Spring in Japan! I’ll be there in five days! Hang on a bit longer, cherry blossoms!
- Research. Wow, I love research. I’m not sure why this should be a surprise to me, given all the years I spent at uni, but it’s not something I’ve ever had to do for my creative work. I’ve spent the last week running in and out of libraries all over Perth gathering information on WWII and circuses and internment and kamikaze and big cat sightings across Australia and trying to work out how the pieces of all of this are going to fit together to make the novel I’ll be working on in Japan. And I finally understand what writers mean when they talk about disappearing down the rabbit hole of research. I want to live down here!
- Going for Broke has been nominated for a Western Australian Younger Readers Book Award. I love these awards because they are nominated and voted on by kids themselves.
- This week the mailman brought me the first copy of my new book, Duck for a Day. There is nothing like holding the actual book in your hands. Ahh!
- Julia Lawrinson and Anita Heiss, for reminding me to be awake to the abundant yayness of the everyday.